Photo: UN Environment

World Environment Day

India helped to make World Environment Day 2018—under the theme of Beat Plastic Pollution—one the biggest and most impactful in the annual event’s 45-year history. Aside from the pledge by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban all single-use plastics in the nation by 2022, India delivered a buoyant countrywide World Environment Day that inspired the planet.

  • Major corporations such as Infosys and Procter & Gamble pledged to make their Indian operations free of single-use plastics.
  • Tamil Nadu State banned non-biodegradable plastics, including single-use plastics, starting January 2019.
  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India promised to reduce its environmental impact by greening operations and engaging cricketers and fans.
  • Clean-ups took place across the country on 48 beaches and riverbanks. Over 6,000 people gathered at Versova Beach in Mumbai to join UN Environment Champion of the Earth Afroz Shah in the 136th week of his beach clean-up, collecting over 90,000 kilograms of plastic.
  • Zero-waste marathons were carried out in six cities, with the participation of over 15,000 students in the capital alone.
  • 24,000 eco clubs across India were engaged in painting and drawing competitions. The Centre for Environment Education designed an educational toolkit in 11 languages and organized 115 events across 24 states, reaching over 38,000 school children and teachers.

On the day itself, World Environment Day was the #1 global topic on Twitter, trending in English, Spanish and Turkish. It also trended in Chinese on Weibo, and became a main topic on the social media accounts of major news outlets such as CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC.